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Mount Erebus

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Chris Hill

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Mount Erebus

Mount Erebus Describe the location of the
volcano on a global and
regional scale Mount Erebus is located on the continent of Antarctica. It is located on Ross Island which is adjoined to the Antarctic mainland by the Ross Ice Shelf. Mount Erebus is the world’s most southerly volcano. The closest human activity is at the McMurdo Research Station. MRS is located roughly 37 km away. The exact co-ordinates of Mount Erebus are 77°31′47″S 167°09′12″E. Describe the region your volcano is located in Mount Erebus is located on Ross Island in West Antarctica. This region is relatively flat all around as it is surrounded by the Ross Ice Shelf. Ross Island and its mountains including Mount Erebus (along with Mount Bird, Mount Terra nova and Mount Terror), are the only features of prominence for quite some distance. The ice shelf is very flat and stretches for a vast area. There are some hills though, such as Observation Hill which is roughly 230 metres high. With this said, it is important to note that Antarctica does have other large mountains and volcanoes. The most notable major mountain though in this area, is Mount Sidley. Mount Sidley stands at 4,285 metres and is in a far more remote part of Antarctica, on the other side of the Ross Ice Shelf. Provide detail on the type of volcano, including a diagram/photo to show its main features Mount Erebus is a stratovolcano. These are composite volcanoes which are created by there being successive eruptions of both lava and ash. This means that the volcano has relatively steep sides compared to other volcanoes. This is evidenced also, by the explosions of Mount Erebus usually being short and sharp with lava bombs as opposed to lava oozing or flowing out of the volcano crater. There is also a lava lake in the crater of Mount Erebus. As an addition to this there is also large amounts of ash exploding out of the volcano erupts. This, over the years has resulted in the volcano getting larger. These layers of ash from past explosions make up the volcano. Describe one of your volcano’s past eruptions, including key features (ie. Volcanic bombs, lava trees, lahars etc.), a brief explanation of these key features, a description of the movement of lava, pyroclastic flows or gases the effect of the eruption on people living in the region; In 2011 Mount Erebus erupted, showing that it is still the most active volcano on the continent. The eruption included large molten lava bombs. These bombs travel through the area. “ shows this in action. There is little to no pyroclastic flow as a result of this. Volcanic bombs are pieces of rock that are larger than 6.5 centimetres in size. These volcanic rocks would have been blasted out of the volcano’s lava lake in an upward trajectory and can fly through the air for long distances in any direction. The eruption of Mount Erebus in 2011 had very little effect on the workers nearby. In fact it would have helped them and it would provide great scientific evidence. Many experiments take place on the gases present in this part of the world as it is often very different to regions which have large human populations; Antarctica is thought of as being one of the purest locations on Earth and thus, is great for scientists to examine. Explain in detail the spatial change over time that has occurred. This could include a timeline showing key events in the history of your volcano 2011: The most recent volcanic eruption of Mount Erebus. 1.3 million years ago: The area is thought to have been formed approximately this long ago. This is not exact as not much information on Mount Erebus’ formation is known. 27th January, 1841: Mt Erebus is discovered (whilst erupting) by Sir James Clark Ross (Figure 4 at right). It was named along with Mt Terror, by him after his party’s ships. 1908: Professor Edgeworth Davis, Sir Douglas Mawson, Dr Alister Mackay, Jameson Adams and Dr Eric Marshall become the first men to climb the mountain. This was as a part of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s party. 1972: The volcano erupts and continues to do so until this day (on and off). 28th November, 1977: Air New Zealand Flight 901, a sightseeing trip to Mount Erebus crashes into the volcano, killing all 257 people on board. This was the end of flights to the volcano, which had started only 10 months earlier.
1985: The first solo ascent of Mount Erebus is made by Roger Mear. 1992: A robot called ‘Dante I’ explores the inside of the volcano. It collected gas samples from the magma lake of the inner crater. Unfortunately the fibre-optic cables could not withstand the conditions and before it reached the magma lake and no scientific data was recorded. Discuss human use of the region your volcano is located in Like the rest of Antarctica, Mount Erebus and its surrounding areas are used by humans for scientific discovery. For over 100 years now, scientific explorations have taken place on the continent and this continues to present day. McMurdo (Research) Station is on the southern tip of Ross Island and is operated through the United States Antarctic Program. This itself is a branch of the National Science Foundation. As a result of this being a US base, most researchers are American. It is able to hold over 1,250 residents at the one time and is the second largest Antarctic community. ll trips either for human adventure or cargo that go to the South Pole base (Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station) leave from this base. As it is a large base, it has developed into quite a location. It now has a harbour and at some times of year, operates three airfields.
Many of the people who remain at McMurdo Station during the Winter months are support workers and technicians that help with such things as logistics and maintenance.
New Zealand also has a base nearby, the Scott Base. Describe the degree of spatial interaction amongst the volcano and visitors to the region There is a relatively week spatial interaction between Mount Erebus and visitors to Antarctica. Most people that do come to Antarctica for (working scientific purposes) head to the bases and do not often go to Mount Erebus itself. It is nowadays only climbed when adventurers are interested in setting records. When tourists are able to visit Antarctica, they usually only visit the Antarctic Peninsula as this is where the majority of the wildlife is found. Some conservation groups are against tourism to Antarctica in general as it is a very fragile ecosystem which has remained almost untouched for millions of years, and longer than any other region on Earth. It would be fair to say that Antarctica in general has weak spatial association with humans but Mount Erebus has an even lower level and it is only on very infrequent occasions do people venture to it. Include some interesting facts about your volcano/region it’s located in •Is the world’s most southerly volcano
•Is observed by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
•Is named for Ross’ ship which itself was named after the Greek god of darkness.
•Is the 6th highest ‘ultra mountain’ on as island. Bibliography •Volcano Discovery (21/012013). Erebus volcano, ‘http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/erebus.html’
•Rik Tindall blogs (07/06/2011). Otago, ‘http://riktindall.wordpress.com/tag/otago/’
•Cool Antarctica (2001). McMurdo Base Antarctica, ‘http://riktindall.wordpress.com/tag/otago/’
•Wikipedia (06/05/2013). Mount Erebus, ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Erebus’
•Youtube (09/09/2011). South Pole Volcano Eruption – Mt Erebus Blasting massive Molten Lava Bombs, ‘
•Polatrec (11/02/2012). Febuary 11, 2012 Mt Erebus, ‘http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/weddell-seals-in-the-ross-sea/journals/2012-02-11’ Beyond Penguins (12/2008). The Forces that Change the Face of Earth, ‘http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/earths-changing-surface/the-forces-that-change-the-face-of-earth’
•Chisholm, A, et al (2012). Geography Environments, Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria: Camberwell West, Australia
•Google Maps (2013). 77°31′47″S 167°09′12″E, ‘http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=ll’
•South-Pole (2013). Antarctic Explorers: James Clark Ross, 'http://www.south-pole.com/p0000081.htm' The ice shelf is straddled by the Transantarctic Mountains.
These stretch for roughly 3,500 kilometres, proving that Antarctica is not a flat continent and that Mount Erebus and its surrounding mountains are not the only mountains on the continent. How volcanoes are formed and
the four main types of volcano When magma in the Earth’s upper mantle rises to the surface, it causes an eruption and thus creating a volcano. As the volcano continues to erupt over time it grows in size. This is the structural construction of a volcano.
The four types of volcano are the cinder cone, the composite cone, the lava dome and the shield volcano. Cinder cone volcanoes are formed when fragments of lava have been blown into the air by a single vent. The fragments quickly cool and land around the vent creating a circular or oval shape. Figure 1: A shot of Cinder Cone and its
surrounding mountain range
in Canada Composite cone volcanoes or stratovolcanoes are tall, steep sided volcanoes that are made up of many layers of volcanic rock. This volcanic rock is usually made from high viscosity lava, ash and rock debris.
Mount Erebus is an example of this. Lava dome volcanoes are formed by lava that is too thick to flow and it creates a steep mound as lava piles near the volcanic vent.
Puleweh is a famous volcano of this type. Shield volcanoes are shaped like bowls in the middle and have gentle slopes with a gradual incline which are made by basaltic lave flows or flood basalts. Location and Distribution of
volcanoes on a global scale Volcanoes are distributed all over the Earth. Major active volcanoes are mainly located around the Pacific Ocean. Their distribution is highly concentrated along the western coast of the Americas and along the islands of Asia and Australia/New Zealand. Other major volcanoes are located along the northern coast of Africa and the southern coast of Europe. There are some exceptions such as the volcanoes in the middle of the Indian Ocean and in Antarctica. The Spatial Association between volcanoes and tectonic plates on a global scale Volcanoes are generally found on the boundaries of the Earth’s tectonic plates. They are found in these areas of the world because of tectonic movement and when the plates move over ‘hotspots’ under the Earth’s crust. There are exceptions of this such as the Hawaiian volcanoes which are in the middle of the pacific plate. http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-volcano.htm
Article: how are volcanoes formed?, types of volcanoes; cinder cone, composite cone, lava dome, shield volcano.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/antarctica.html
Date: photo taken December 2006, picture: Mt Erebus

http://www.tourismontheedge.com/places/erta-ale-the-smoking-mountain-of-ethiopia.html
Date: Photo taken February 25 2011, picture: Erta Ale in Ethiopia http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/paluweh/photos/lava-dome2012/image11.html
Date: Photo taken 1 December 2012, picture: Puleweh in Indonesia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinder_Cone_(British_Columbia)
Date: February 7 2012, picture: Cinder Cone in Canada

Geography work book, author: Sean Freeman, date: April 6 2013 Volcanoes By Sean Freeman and Christopher Hill Figure 2: Mt Erebus erupting Figure 3: Mount Erebus' lava lake Video 1: Mount Erebus with exploding lava bombs
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